Update on High School Building Options
What’s happening with Highland High School and West High School?
The first phase of the project, a feasibility study of each high school, is now complete. During the first phase, the Board of Education of Salt Lake City School District (the Board) hired architectural firms to conduct feasibility studies regarding the possible options for the future of Highland High School and West High School, including how the schools might be rebuilt on their current campuses.
The architects and a district team toured the schools, met with students and staff from each school, studied each building’s unique features, and held community meetings at each high school. They also held dozens of other meetings with teachers and staff in nearby elementary and middle schools, school community councils, and neighborhood community councils. During these meetings, they gathered feedback from current students, parents, teachers and staff, alumni, preservation advocates, community members, community leaders, etc. The community meetings at each school were recorded and are available for viewing on the district‘s YouTube channel.
The architects used the information and feedback they gathered, as well as their years of experience in school construction, to formulate different plans for rebuilding Highland and West, which included projected timelines, impacts on student learning, and estimated costs. These plans and the recommended options were presented to the Board during its meeting on February 21, 2023. You can view the PowerPoint presentation from that meeting here.
If the Board chooses to rebuild schools, the next step would be a bond election. Voters would need to authorize the district to issue bonds to generate the necessary funds to cover the cost of these projects. At this time, the Board has not set a timeline for when they might consider a bond election.
The Board is also considering the feasibility (both in terms of demographics and resources) of a possible fourth high school on the west side of Salt Lake City.
All of these factors are currently under consideration by the Board. If you wish to share your thoughts with your Board member regarding any of the issues mentioned above, you can find contact information for Board members on our website.